Hiatus

Hello, lovely followers!

I’m reluctant to announce that I’ll be going on a blogging hiatus during May. I’ve been struggling to manage my classes, homework, and social life while keeping up with posts here. Blogging has begun to feel like a chore, and I don’t want to preface every post with an apology or for you to keep watching for Unraveled posts that will always be late. I think I just need some time to recharge so I can enthusiastically post again in June.

I want to thank those of you who have contacted me about the lack of Unraveled posts and asked if I was okay. I’m sorry to make you worry. Everything is peachy here, blogging just can’t be my priority right now. 🙂

The reason I haven’t gone on hiatus before now is because I really enjoy talking to all of you and receiving your comments. It always makes my day, and y’all are definitely the highlight of blogging for me. I will still try to come around and visit your blogs. 🙂

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I do have some stuff I’m excited to post about, so I look forward to doing that next month. I’ll leave you with a picture of an Obi-Wan I crocheted for a Star Wars-obsessed friend, in honor of Star Wars day yesterday. 🙂

Thank you for sticking with me through all the blogging adjustments! I’ll see you in June!

How to Train Your Droid: A Guest Post by Rey

Hi, everyone out there in cyberspace, or a galaxy far, far away. Remember in Rapunzel’s post when she mentioned having a co-blogger? Well, that’s me – I’m an amigurumi Rey from Star Wars, and I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you.

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I don’t know if any of you have seen The Force Awakens (you probably have, I hear it’s popular, which pleases me), but there will be no spoilers in this post. I don’t particularly like discussing some events from that time in my life, even though I’m a crocheted version of the character and I didn’t actually live through it.

Anyway, I’m a scavenger, not a crafter, so I wasn’t sure what to write about when Claire recruited me for this job.

“A lot of my followers are Star Wars fans,” she said. “I’d really like to have you contribute. Maybe boost my page views.”

“Do you want me to talk about some Star Wars fan theories?” I asked. Before you ask, no, I don’t have insider information on who so-and-so’s parents are, or why Event X happened. Unfortunately. Believe me, people have asked.

“No,” she said. “Too many spoilers. I’ll keep thinking.”

In the end, while Claire was working on an essay, I had an idea: I could write about BB-8, my crochet droid companion. Claire likes making things to go along with her amigurumi, and she correctly assumed that I would enjoy having BB-8. However, just like I pretty much have Movie Rey’s personality, BB-8 is a pretty labor-intensive little droid. I thought it would be helpful to write a user’s guide with 3 things to know about BB-8, helpful for me in any case and possibly you, if you own a droid. At the very least, Claire will be happy to have another post on her neglected blog.

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1. Know the programming

It’s always important to know the inner workings of your droid. At the very least, make sure you know where the off and mute buttons are. Of course, it’s bad form to press either of these buttons without your droid’s permission, but there are times when you’re sneaking around a spaceship and your droid just won’t stop beeping, and you know what they say about desperate times.

For BB-8, here are several helpful quotes (spoiler-free) from The Force Awakens. The first is an enthusiastic review from Poe that admittedly does not give us much practical information:

He’s a BB unit! Orange and white, one of a kind.

And a much more practical one from, well, me:

He’s a BB unit with a selenium drive and a thermal hyperscan vindicator.

Ideally your droid will come with an owner’s manual, but sometimes you find a droid without. So it’s worth doing your research.

2. Learn to communicate

It’s never been clear to me why some people can understand droids and some can’t. I happen to be one of the lucky ones who understands the complicated beeping noises they emit. Every droid is different; for example, R2-D2 sounds a good deal different than BB-8, and I have a harder time understanding him. It’s similar to different dialects or accents of the same language. Canadian French sounds different than Parisian French (or so Claire tells me). That said, since this is a guide to understanding your BB-8, here are three common phrases to know:

  • Beeeeep, beep-beep-beep: My antenna’s bent, I could use some help.
  • Beep! Beep! Beep!: A mailman just walked by! You’re under attack! Call for help! Signal the Resistance!
  • Be-eep, whirrrrr: I might have just tracked mud onto your kitchen floor…

3. Droids have feelings too

Droids are very intelligent – so intelligent that they have become sentient, which is a whole complicated debate I don’t want to get into here. They are capable of understanding you and carrying on a conversation (see point 2), as well as completing complicated missions for rebellions and other secret organizations. It’s easy to think of them as a machine, like you would view a spaceship (even ones that make the Kessel run in 14, I mean 12, parsecs) and pay only enough attention to keep them in working order. In reality, droids need as much attention as humans do. They are faithful companions, and you should treat them just like you would treat an Ewok or a Wookie. (That said, I would definitely not recommend giving a crossbow to a droid. Or to a Wookie, either, unless you’re certain you can trust them.)

***

Do you have anything to add to my list? What kind of posts would you like to see from me in the future?

About the Author

IMG_0809Rey is a Star Wars amigurumi who enjoys scavenging for yarn scraps (they’re easy to find in Claire’s house), building things out of books (also easy to come by), and spending time with her droid, BB-8. She enjoys exploring outside and climbing trees, which usually leads to her being covered in dirt, but never sand – she hates sand, it’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. People often ask her if she has seen all the Star Wars movies. The answer is yes, and she’s just as eager as you to see the 8th episode.

Unraveled, Part 13

Finally, another chapter of Unraveled! I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while. As Rapunzel explained, I’ve been super busy, and unfortunately my blogging is going to suffer for it. But I will make a concerted effort to get these posts up on time, every other Saturday. (We’re off to a great start by me forgetting to post this yesterday!)

Anyway, I hope you’re all having a good April so far, and I hope you enjoy today’s chapter! I’m excited to share this one, this is where the story takes a turn from where I thought it was going, and it will also genre-leap pretty soon. 🙂

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Table of Contents

Unraveled, Part 13

“You can come closer, Emma,” said Rory. Was she trying to change the subject? I decided to let it go; I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. Still, there was something unnerving about Rory, something that wasn’t quite adding up. The sooner I got home the better, and I would make sure Catherine got home safely as well.

I approached the well, but I stopped a few feet away from it. There was some primal instinct telling me to stay away from it, something humming in my chest that told me to run away as fast as I could. The closer I got the worse the sensation was. I wanted to grab Catherine and run back to the car, drive to safety and never come out of my room again. It was a completely ridiculous sensation; it was just a well, I told myself. What harm could it possibly do?

“Come on!” said Rory, inclining her head to the stone structure. “You have to see it up close.”

I sighed, pushed aside the feeling of impending doom, and stepped across the line of daisies. “What does this have to do with the shawl?” I asked. The plan had been to try and find information, not gawk at a picturesque meadow (nice as it was) and a strange old well.

“Oh, it has everything to do with the shawl.” Rory’s tone sounded sinister now, like she knew something I did it. That was my cue to leave. Something was happening, I didn’t know what, but it was common sense to leave.

Catherine must have gotten a similar vibe, because her arm brushed mine. She was standing directly next to me. Our eyes met and we had a minute of unspoken communication: Let’s go. Quick.

I backed up slowly, planning to walk away until Rory figured out what I was doing, and then I would run. Even with how much I tripped, I had to be faster than her. At the very least, Catherine was; she could run back and get help. My heart was pounding so hard I thought it would burst through my rib cage. I had been so stupid to come on this trip.

Then my back hit something hard, stopping me in my tracks.

Catherine looked at me like she was wondering why I had stopped walking. I was wondering that too. When I turned around, there was nothing there; nothing but the daisies on the ground and the air. But I couldn’t move. I wasn’t frozen in fear and rooted to the spot – I literally could not move past there. I swung my hand out, trying to reach past whatever invisible barrier was there, but I was met with solid air.

My hand started shaking. I forgot about being stealthy so Rory wouldn’t see. I moved a couple feet to the right and reached out again, and the same thing happened.

“Emma,” said Catherine quietly. She looked concerned for my sanity.

“I can’t…” I started, motioning to the invisible barrier and hoping she would get the gist, because I had lost the ability to form words.

She looked at me, puzzled, and took a step outside the daisy line. But her foot stopped in its tracks. Her eyes appeared to double in size, her eyebrows shot up, and she looked to be the picture of panic. So was I.

We were stuck, and I didn’t understand why.

Rory laughed, a sound that sent chills down my spine.

“I can’t believe how easy this was,” she said. “Elide will be very pleased with me.” Her lips stretched into a smile.

I heard Catherine take a sharp breath as Rory came toward us. There was nothing I could do, nowhere to go. I prepared myself to fight her, although I had never gotten in a fight before so I probably wouldn’t last ten seconds, even if my opponent was three times my age. Maybe I could hold her off long enough for us to get away, if it weren’t for the daisies somehow holding us back.

Then Rory stopped in front of me. My pulse pounded in my head, nearly drowning out all other sounds. “Emma,” she said. “I need you to leap into the well.”

“What?” I had heard her, but that made no sense. Was she a serial killer? Was this her way of hiding the body? But the nature center would find my body eventually; it was a terrible plan on Rory’s part.

Then it hit me – there was no nature center. Of course. Rory just wanted to lure us away. And like a fool, I had bought into her plan. I bit my lip to keep it from trembling. Whatever she was planning, I wouldn’t go down without a fight.

A gust of wind slammed into my back so forcefully that I stumbled forward.  It knocked the wind out of me, and I struggled to draw a breath. I hit the well, cold stone hurting my stomach, and frantically grabbed for the wooden support pole that held the roof above the well. My fingers stretched out, grazing the wood, and I held on for dear life. But my hand wasn’t that strong, and the relentless wind took away my breath.

Catherine grabbed my other wrist and pulled. I wanted to scream at her to let go. She would fall, too, and both of us would be dead. How deep was the well? Would we die just from falling, or would we end up drowning in the freezing cold water, looking up at the sky? I had read that you could see stars in the sky from the bottom of a well, even if it was the middle of the day. That wasn’t a bad thing to see before you died. But I wanted to save Catherine at the very least.

Bit by bit, my fingers loosened from the wooden beam. I focused every smidge of my energy on keeping my hand clenched, but then a stabbing pain shot through my fingers. Rory had hit my fingers with something sharp. I let go reflexively –

And then I was falling backwards, tumbling over the stone edge of the well, plummeting into the abyss. Darkness closed around me and I could see the sky above as I fell.

***

Thanks so much for reading, and I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

 

Yarn Along: A Guest Post by Rapunzel

Hi everyone! My name is Rapunzel, and as you probably gathered from the title, I’ll be doing a guest post today.

You may remember that last summer, I filled in for Claire while she was away at camp. Well, she hasn’t posted for a while because she was overwhelmed with her college classes. I’m happy about this opportunity because I really enjoyed guest posting last summer, so I’m delighted to be back!

Claire will be going on a sort-of blogging hiatus, and here’s our tentative schedule: Every other Saturday, she’ll post a chapter of Unraveled. On the non-Unraveled Saturdays, there will hopefully be another blog post from her, as time allows. All the other blog posts in the near future will be from me or one other guest blogger, whom you’ll meet soon! These might not be regular, but there will definitely be some co-blogging going on for the next couple weeks, or however long. We’re figuring it out as we go. 🙂

For today’s post, I decided to join in the Yarn Along, which is a weekly link-up from Ginny Sheller at Small Things. You post a picture of what you’re crocheting (or knitting) and reading at the moment. I’m not as into books as Claire is (you should see her bookshelves, where I live), but I was excited about this post idea.

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Crocheting

I’m working on a shawl for myself. One of my guest posts last summer was about a granny triangle shawl, and I decided to make one that was more appropriate for summer. The yarn is Rowan Kidsilk Haze from our local yarn store, and it’s the softest yarn ever! It’s very difficult to frog, though. As you can see, I added some different stitches near the edge, and I just finished the scallop. I’m excited to show you the finished product. 🙂

Reading

I’m what you might call a reluctant reader. There are so many things I get distracted with when I sit down to read! So Claire recommended The Wide-Awake Princess by E. D. Baker, because it’s an adventure – and she thought I would like reading about another princess. I’m about halfway through, and it’s really good! I like how the author turns the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty inside out…what if Sleeping Beauty had a sister? I can’t wait to finish it. Claire has two other books by the same author (she’s a huge fan of fantasy books) so I might continue. I’d love your suggestions too! 😀

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It’s great to be back on Once Upon a Yarn…I’m so excited to talk to you all later! Thank you all for your patience while we figure out the guest posting thing. 🙂 And feel free to leave a comment, or ask any questions!

About the Author

IMG_4303Rapunzel is a crocheted doll who loves crafting, watching animated movies, and singing along to the radio. She spent three weeks as a guest blogger for Once Upon a Yarn last summer, when Claire went on vacation, and is delighted to be back. When she’s not wrestling with her hair, she can usually be found wherever there are tomatoes – her favorite food.

Mint Green Owl Video Tutorial

Hi there!

I’m super excited to share my first video tutorial with you all today! I was going to post Unraveled today, but I had some time to edit this and was too excited to wait to share it. 🙂

I learned to crochet from Crochet: A Klutz Book, but after I learned the basic stitches, I discovered YouTube tutorials. So I technically didn’t have a teacher, but there are so many helpful channels that it was almost like having one. In my years blogging (I’m making myself sound so experienced, hehe) I received some requests for video tutorials, but I didn’t have an account to share them. And I was quite honestly frightened of putting my voice out on the Internet – I felt like Ariel signing her voice away to the sea witch.

But to make a long story short, there’s only so much you can convey in a photo tutorial, and it really is my mission to help as many people learn to crochet as possible. I’m teaching a pretty big group of people to crochet, and I picked up some information on what does and doesn’t work for teaching; I even designed some patterns specifically for my crochet classes. And I would really like to help more beginning crocheters. So I took the plunge and created a Vimeo account, under my website name: Once Upon a Yarn.

For my first video, I picked the Mint Green Owl amigurumi pattern. This is one that I designed just for my crochet classes, because it’s super easy, so I thought it would be a good thing to start with. Here it is!

I filmed this on my iPhone, so I’m sorry about the oddly shaped screen. I’ll figure something else out next time, like maybe turning the phone the other way. Any suggestions? I like the good definition from the iPhone, and I don’t have a proper video camera… Also, I talked far too quietly (introverts unite! except for not, because we’re introverts!) so you’ll need to turn up the volume. Hehe.

I’d really appreciate if you helped spread the word about my channel; it’s incredibly scary putting myself out there, but I think it will get less so over time! (How do all you vloggers do it?)

Let me know what you think, and thanks for being so supportive! 😀

Schedules, Sneak Peeks, & Sea Turtles

Hi! I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend!

I decided to switch up my blogging schedule (although it’s so unorganized, I can hardly call it that) – the reason being that I have the most time to blog on the weekend, so I’ll do Unraveled posts later in the week, since I can just copy & paste and publish. I think I’ll do those on Tuesday, and do my Yarn Along posts on Thursday. (I realize I keep missing the Yarn Along…I need to get in a better habit of posting!)

One of my New Years’ resolutions was to post more frequently, and to learn my way around WordPress.org, so we’ll see how this goes. I appreciate your patience, and any feedback you have is welcome! 😀

I’ve been busy over the last week working on a new crochet project. I was planning to post about it today, but it was pouring rain and I wanted to take pictures outside. Instead of settling for mediocre, poorly-lit inside photos, I’ll just post a sneak peek today and save the photo shoot for another day. I’m super pleased with how this particular project came out – my mom called it my best yet, and I have to agree. (I’m certainly not trying to pat myself on the back, but don’t you love when something comes out just the way you envisioned it? And I put a lot of effort into this one, so I’m glad it paid off!)

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Any guesses? That first picture makes her pretty recognizable, doesn’t it? 😉

Okay, this is the part where we depart from my typical topics (crochet and writing) for a change! It was one of those weeks where at the end of it, you just need something cute and cuddly to cheer yourself up. So because I’m a responsible adult, I bought a Squishable sea turtle. <3 (If you’re unfamiliar with Squishables, or you also are in need of a smile, go click around their website…you won’t regret it!)

 

I mean:

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(Photo credit to AVG for the above picture)

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Yeah, so I didn’t even try to resist. I just wanted to share the cuteness with y’all. 🙂 I think I’m going to name him Akinli, but I’d love to hear your suggestions!

That concludes today’s post of randomness. I’d love to hear your thoughts about my blogging schedule, not-so-secret amigurumi, or adopted turtle! 🙂

May the Force be with you!

 

Unraveled, Part 12

Hello! Welcome back to another chapter of Unraveled! We’re getting so close to one of my favorite moments to write… Next week I get to post it! 😀

I hope you’re all continuing to enjoy it, and that you’re having a wonderful Saturday!

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Table of Contents

Unraveled, Part 12

Rory led the way, picking her way through branches and brambles like she had been born there. Catherine and I stayed further back – me because I was hard time not tripping, and her because she was a loyal friend. We passed under the trees and I shivered in the sudden chill. They blocked out the sun entirely, leaving intricate patterns of dappled sunlight on the forest floor.

“You girls doing all right?” Rory’s voice came from a ways away, seeming to echo around the trees. I caught a glimpse of her bright pink hair a few dozen yards ahead.

“We’re fine,” hollered Catherine. She turned to me. “I think so anyway.”

“Yeah,” I said. Rory was far enough away that I didn’t think she could overhear me, but I didn’t want to risk telling Catherine what I was really thinking: Rory was scaring me a little. She seemed to get very intense sometimes, like in her driving and the shocked expression when she saw me. It was enough to put me on edge, and wonder if it was the safest idea to keep staying with her. I glanced at Catherine, wondering if she was having similar thoughts. If she wasn’t, then I didn’t want to seem paranoid by mentioning anything.

Catherine ducked under a branch, then held it aside for me to walk through. If it had been Hayden, she would have let it smack into my face. But Catherine was kinder than that. “Thanks,” I said, quickly stepping past so she could let it go.

“Of course,” she said graciously, smiling at me again. She really did have a beautiful smile, the kind that made you want to smile too.

The forest came to life the deeper we walked. The sound of birds chirping echoed down through the trees, and once when I looked up a butterfly flew past, wings open in an explosion of orange and red. I could hear the wind whistling through the trees, which I had always thought of as a lonesome noise – you know, being home in a cabin, sitting by yourself and listening to the wind. But I wasn’t lonely since Catherine was there.

I suppose Rory was there as well, but if I was honest worth myself, I wasn’t exactly happy to be her company. It made me seem like a horrible person; she was taking time out of her life to help me find a cure for the shawl, after all. What was bad about that? But I couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t quite right. The suspicion stayed in my chest, making me feel uneasy, making the innocent sights and sounds of the forest sinister.

“Catherine?” I risked a glance over at her, wondering how I was going to phrase this.

She was walking along, stepping over roots and fallen branches, looking at home in the forest. With her outfit, it looked like she had been made for a walk in the woods. She looked at me, eyebrows raised. “Hmm?”

  “Uh,” I said, stalling for time. As if on cue, my foot caught on a root and I pitched forward, an awkward yelp coming out of me. I flung out my arms, anticipating the fall. Instead Catherine’s arm wrapped around my waist and kept me from hitting the ground.

“Careful,” she said, helping me get back on my feet. “Are you okay?”

I was still clutching her shoulder. “Yeah,” I said, quickly letting go. I could tell my face was red. “Thanks.”

“No problem,” she said, looking totally unruffled. “These woods are hard to walk in. I have some in my backyard and I used to trip all the time.” I could tell she was trying to make it not seem like a big deal, which I appreciated. In my groups of friends back home, I was always the butt of the joke with how often I stumbled. I could tell Catherine wasn’t like that.

I remembered what I was going to ask her. But before I could say it, Rory called back to us: “Hurry up, girls!”

“Coming!” Catherine kept a firm grip on my arm, probably not trusting me to walk on my own. I didn’t blame her. She led me through the trees, making sure I didn’t trip.

Rory was waiting at the edge of a clearing. She looked up when we arrived, motioning for us to come over. I couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling; it got worse the closer I got to the clearing. But when I was standing next to Rory, all thoughts of unease or evil vanished from my mind. All I could do was stare at the incredible sight in front of me. I heard Catherine gasp and felt her grip my arm tighter.

There was a large stone well in the middle of a grassy clearing: a perfect wishing well, like you would see in a Disney movie. It was covered in moss like it had been there for a very long time. The clearing was bordered by trees of all shades of green; pine trees, willow trees, trees I didn’t know the names of. I could see the sky through a gap in the trees overhead, and though it was still overcast, there were no clouds in this particular patch of sky. It was like someone had taken a fairytale scene and brought it to life in front of me, and so much beauty made me feel kind of dizzy.

The odd thing was that the well was surrounded by a ring of daisies, all equidistant from each other. I couldn’t imagine them growing that way naturally. It had to be a landscaping choice. Whatever the case, they did look quite cute surrounding the well.

“What is this?” asked Catherine in an awestruck voice. Her jaw was slightly agape and her eyes were wide as she glanced around the meadow. I had an identical expression.

“Part of the nature center,” explained Rory. “Lovely, isn’t it?” She strolled into the grass, looking right at home there, even if her pink hair stood out among the green. “Come, look at it!”

Catherine followed her. I was more hesitant, although there was nothing dangerous about a grassy clearing, but I followed suit anyway. Catherine wandered over to the well, running her hands along the stone and leaning over to peer into its depths. I stood a couple yards away from the well and watched from there.

“How did you find out about his?” asked Catherine, totally involved in checking out the well. “Your nature retreat?”

“Mm hmm,” said Rory, perching on the edge of the well gracefully. She watched Catherine as she investigated her surroundings. “Like I said, I got married here, and we held the ceremony out here. It was very lovely, the perfect day.” She looked a little sentimental talking about it, and Catherine smiled at her.

“Wait,” I said. “I thought you had a birthday party here a couple years ago, you know, ‘cause that’s where you got the shawl. As a gift.” Her story wasn’t adding up.

Rory’s eyes widened for a second. “Oh, I’m sure I said wedding,” she said quickly. “I’m sure you’re just confusing it with the time I did have a party here, a couple years ago.” She gave me a tight smile. “Don’t worry, I get mixed up all the time.”

I was sure she was lying, but why would she lie about something like that?

***

Emma and I are different in many ways (for one, I would never go on a road trip with a stranger), but she definitely has my clumsiness. And love of yarn, of course. Hopefully that makes her relatable. 😉

How are you all doing? I’ll see you in a few days for another post! 😀

Yarn Along

I’m linking up with Small Things for the Yarn Along, where you post a picture of what you’re knitting (or crocheting) and reading at the moment.

I’m trying to take more Artful Pictures, instead of just the book and current project, but I’m not very good at it. Hopefully more Yarn Alongs will help! 😀

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Crocheting

I volunteer at my church’s annual rummage sale, Junque and Jewels (great name, right?). Last year, when shopping through the yarn section, I found a plastic bag with three skeins of thread, a crochet hook, a partially-crocheted wrap, and the pattern. So I bought it, intrigued, and now I’m crocheting the rest of it. A slow process, because I had to figure out where the person left off, and our gauge is slightly different. But they did the difficult first row (working into the starting chain), so I’m happy I dodged that bullet. 😀

I couldn’t stop thinking about where the wrap came from, why someone would donate it, and the story behind it. All those questions eventually turned into Unraveled, which is why this may sound familiar to you. 😉 (But don’t worry, I haven’t experienced any health problems from crocheting, except sore wrists! Hehe.)

Reading

My philosophy teacher recommended Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder to us, and I can never resist a new book. I picked it up at my local bookstore and dove into it. Not exactly light reading — it alternates between the title character’s life and lessons on famous philosophers, and it’s all very thought-provoking. There should be a warning on the cover: “May cause you to rethink your life and question your existence.” But I’m really enjoying it! 🙂

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What are you reading and/or crafting at the moment?

Lunar Chronicles Iko: Free Crochet Pattern

Happy Leap Day! I really wanted to post today just so I could see “February 29” as the date. Also, I had this post in my drafts folder for ages, but I never got around to uploading pictures. So this is the perfect information to finally share the pattern. 🙂

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A little background on today’s pattern: As many of you know, I’m a Lunartic (meaning I love the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer). I went to the Lunar ball which I posted about here, and I crocheted versions of each of the four main characters in the series. Click here to see all my posts tagged Lunar Chronicles; there are a fair amount!

Anyway, I was ridiculously excited when I found out Marissa Meyer was coming to my city on her Stars Above tour. As you may recall, I regretted not giving her one of the dolls at the launch party, so I was determined to crochet something for her this time. I ended up making Iko, Cinder’s loyal and adorable android friend.

After a few hours of waiting in line (during which I devoured the Winter epilogue in Stars Above), I gave Iko to my favorite author, and she loved her! 😀

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I dressed up as Scarlet; I wanted to wear a cape, but didn’t have time to make one. So I wore a red hoodie, a crescent moon necklace, and (possible spoiler warning) bandaged my finger up like this:

Iko looks really concerned for my health here!

Iko looks really concerned for my health here!

I whipped Iko up the day before the launch party, and I wrote down the pattern as I went. I based her off of the descriptions in Cinder and in some fan art I found online, but this was mostly how I pictured her in the books, complete with the treads. That was my favorite part.

In Cinder, Iko tries on some of Adri’s (the stepmother) pearls, so I made her a necklace too. I was so tickled when Marissa Meyer said something like, “Oh, and you did the pearls!” It just made my day. The whole launch party did. That was a fantastic week. 😀

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You can probably tell how excited I am in that picture, based on the huge smile and how I’m nervously hugging my arms to myself. I know my brain was basically going !!!!!!!! at that point. As the line got shorter, I had to take some calming breaths because I felt dizzy and didn’t want to pass out. “And here we see a fangirl in her natural habitat…” XD

One note: Please don’t sell the items you make from this pattern! I don’t want to step on my favorite author’s toes with any copyright restrictions. I didn’t invent Iko, I just wanted to share the pattern in case there are any other crocheting Lunartics who want their own Iko. (As a side note on this side note, I think this is a good non-specific robot pattern, don’t you? Just leave off the pearls and she could be a droid for any purpose.)

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Materials

  • Red Heart Soft yarn in white (or other worsted weight yarn of your choice) – you’ll need much less than a full skein
  • Patons Metallic yarn in silver color (you could use gray instead, but I liked the metallic android aspect of this kind)
  • Small amount of dark blue worsted weight yarn
  • About a yard of light blue yarn
  • Black worsted weight yarn
  • 28(ish) gauge wire – I don’t remember the exact gauge I used, it doesn’t matter if you have a different kind. This is to make the arms posable.
  • Medical tape (to tape the wire)
  • G (4.00 MM) crochet hook
  • Yarn needle
  • Scissors
  • Optional materials for necklace: 
  • I used Rowan Kidsilk Haze, which I got as a present – it’s a very lightweight mohair yarn. I wanted Iko to have something luxurious.
  • 2.1 MM crochet hook

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Body

Rnd 1: Make a magic ring OR ch 2. 6 sc in magic ring or 2nd ch from hook.

Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around.

Rnd 3: *sc, 2 sc in next st* around.

Rnd 4: *sc 2, 2 sc in next st* around.

Rnd 5: *sc 3, 2 sc in next st* around.

Rnd 6: Sc around.

Rnd 7: *sc 4, 2 sc in next st* around.

Rnd 8-12: Sc around.

Pause for a minute and grab your black yarn. Add a round of surface slip stitch on Round 11. Then continue with the white yarn.

Rnd 13: *sc 5, 2 sc in next st* around.

Rnd 14-25: Sc around.

Rnd 26: In back loops only, *sc 5, sc2tog* around.

Rnd 27: *sc 4, sc2tog* around.

Rnd 28: *sc 1, sc2tog* around until 1 st remains, sc 1.

Stuff firmly, but don’t put too much stuffing in the base so it will lay flat. Continue to stuff as you finish decreasing.

Rnd 29: *sc 2, sc2tog* around.

Rnd 30: *sc 1, sc2tog* around.

Rnd 31: *sc2tog* 3 times. Fasten off, sew hole closed.

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Treads

Base (make 6)

With black yarn:

Rnd 1: Make 6 sc in a magic ring.

Rnd 2-3: Sc in each st around.

Fasten off, leaving tail for sewing. Sew 3 bases on each side of Iko in a small triangle shape. See picture for reference.

Belt (make 2)

With metallic yarn:

Row 1: Ch 5, sc in 2nd ch from hk and in each ch across (4 sts)

Row 2-16: Ch 1, turn, sc in back loops of first 3 sts, sc in both loops of last stitch (4 sts)

Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing. Sew the belt into a loop, going through back loops of Row 16 and bottom loops of the starting chain. Put the belt over the triangle-base and make stitches through each base to secure it, so it doesn’t slip off. Weave in ends.

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Sensor

With dark blue yarn:

Rnd 1: 6 sc in a magic ring.

Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around.

Rnd 3: Sc in each st around.

Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing, and sew to Iko’s “face” above the black line. Embroider a light blue circle with backstitch around the sensor.

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Arms

This is a basic summary of how I did Iko’s arms. It’s definitely not safe for small children, because of the wire. I would only do her arms like this if she’s going to be displayed, not played with.

  1. Cut a super long piece of wire, 2 feet or so. Fold it in half, then half again, and twist it together so it stays put.
  2. Thread the wire through Iko’s body. There will be a few inches of wire sticking out either side, which will be her arms.
  3. Cut the loops at either end of her arms, then spread the strands of wire out so there are 2 on each side. Fold them back so the raw edge of wire won’t impale anyone. These will be her “pincers,” or hands.
  4. Wrap her arms in medical tape (aw, it sounds like Iko got injured or something!). Start with the pincers – wrap each one in a piece of tape, then work your way down her arm. This should make them thicker as well, so try to make it even.
  5. At this point make sure her arms are the same length.
  6. Wrap each arm in metallic yarn, starting from the top. Tie a knot and work your way down her arm. When you get to her pincers, do one claw first, then wrap back down the claw. Wrap the other claw, then wrap back down it, then wrap back down the entire arm. Tie the ends together and pull them into the body to hide them.
  7. Now your Iko has poseable arms!

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Finishing

I chose to apply some blush to her cheeks with pink crayon, because one of Iko’s lines is, “Check my fan, I think I’m overheating!” Androids can’t blush, but it’s Iko. I’m sure if any android could find a way to blush, it would be her. 😉

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Necklace

Iko loves fashion, so I felt the need to make her a necklace. A luxurious, fluffy mohair necklace. Check the materials list for the yarn I used.

[*Ch 4, 3-dc cluster in back bump of 4th chain from hook.* Do *this* 26 times. Sl st the strand together, don’t cut the yarn.] Repeat between [ brackets ] two more times to make two more strands. Fasten off, weave in ends.

And your Iko is complete! 😀

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I hope you enjoyed this pattern; I haven’t had this much fun designing an amigurumi in a long time! I’m so happy I got to meet Marissa Meyer again and that I could get Stars Above signed. I know I’ll be a lifelong fan of hers…I can’t wait until November when Heartless comes out. Also, there will be some graphic novels about Iko next year, so I’m incredibly excited about that! Ah, the wonderful life of a fangirl…so many things to anticipate. 😉

What books do y’all like? Are there any Lunartics out there? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

And once again, happy Leap Day – because I can only say it once every four years! 🙂

Unraveled, Part 11

Hi there! Welcome back to another segment of Unraveled! I hope you’re still enjoying it; thank you so much for all your wonderful, supportive comments! I’m having fun blogging another book. 🙂

I do have some other posts in the works, but I haven’t had time to write them up. I feel bad posting only Unraveled, but I’ve been really busy lately. Hopefully I can get them posted in the future. If only I had a working Time Turner, I could get so much more done. 😉

Today’s segment is a little bit different, as you’ll see from the opening bit. I lost about 2,000 words of the story when Microsoft Word crashed, so I had to rewrite part 11 and 12. It was annoying, but now I know to keep things saved in Google Docs! Live and learn. 🙂

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Table of Contents

Unraveled, Part 11

My dress gathers around my ankles, nearly tripping me as I run down the stairs and into the gardens. Thorns tug at my skin, ripping through my flesh, and I bite my lip to keep from crying out in pain. I don’t dare look to see if anyone follows me. Instead I hitch up my dress around my knees and run for my life.

I have to make it outside the palace gates. It would be faster to take a horse, but there’s no time to saddle one, and I can’t ride without a saddle. So I sprint, tripping over roots and branches, heart trying to fly out my mouth.

People are calling my name. I hear Elide calling for me. Fear courses through my veins and increases my speed. Will she come after me? She could catch me if she wanted to. If she’s letting me go, that means I’m running right into a trap.

But because it’s my nature, I still run. I have to at least try to escape. If I can make it to the Well, I’ll be able to hide. I don’t want to leave, but it’s my only choice. The Well is just outside the gates, and they’re within reach. Something sharp pinches the bottom of my foot, a rock of some sort, and I whimper in pain. Don’t stop now! I tell myself, and I throw myself forward, fingers scraping across the rough stone of the gate. I fall –

***

I jerked awake. Catherine’s hand was on my shoulder.

“Bad dream?” she asked.

I groaned. The dream was already fading; all I could remember were snatches of it, like the feeling of running and the blur of the gardens. “No,” I said. It was true, it hadn’t been a bad dream, just a peculiar one.

We were in a parking lot outside Wendy’s. Rory was nowhere in sight, and Catherine was leaning in through the open door. I blinked. “Wait, how long was I asleep?”

“About five hours,” said Catherine. She laughed at the expression on my face.

“You’re kidding.” I yawned, stretching, and went to rub the sleep out of my eyes.

“Yeah, you were pretty out of it,” she said. “We ran into some bad traffic about four hours in, and we just got here.”

I sat up, stuffing the shawl back into my bag.

“Rory’s inside getting food,” said Catherine, seeing the question in my face. “Are fries okay with you?”

“Of course.” It felt like my stomach had been replaced with a bottomless pit of hunger. I found myself craving the salty, fat-filled unhealthiness of fast food. I went to rub my eyes and flinched as a stabbing pain lanced through my finger. My left index finger was covered in a Band-Aid, stained with dark red.

My finger had hurt before I fell asleep, from the crocheting I was doing, but I hadn’t bandaged it or anything. How had that gotten there? Had I spaced out and forgotten doing it?

“Oh,” said Catherine, “I forgot to mention…” She leaned on the side of the car, looking a little embarrassed. “I tried to wake you up about an hour ago, when Rory stopped for gas, but you were dead to the world. You had this awful cut on your finger, it was bleeding all over your clothes, so I just stuck a Band-Aid on it. I had some antibiotic stuff in my purse so I just…” She trailed off.

“Thank you,” I said, feeling a little flustered myself. I didn’t want her to see the extent of the damage the shawl had wrought. But she had noticed my bandaged fingers before, so of course she would have noticed this time too. “I mean, that was sweet of you. I can’t believe I slept through that.”

“Me neither,” said Catherine, a smile stretching across her face. I couldn’t help but notice how perfectly white her teeth were, like she was a model for a teeth-whitening commercial or something. Naturally I kept that thought quiet so I didn’t sound like a creep.

I noticed Rory coming out of the restaurant doors with a paper bag in hand. My stomach growled, like it had detected the presence of food, and my mouth watered. I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast, which was now nothing but a memory. Catherine looked over her shoulder. “Oh good, I’m starving.”

Rory’s eyes widened for a minute when she saw me awake, but her shocked expression was fleeting, leaving me to wonder if I was making things up. She thrust the bag into my hands, and the smell of French fries pervaded my senses. “Good to see you awake, Emma,” she said. “I was beginning to think you were comatose!”

“So was I,” said Catherine with a laugh. “All it took was fries to wake her up.”

“Did you have a nice nap, dear?” asked Rory. I had popped a French fry into my mouth, so I just nodded. “Great. You girls eat, because we have a bit of a hike ahead of us.”

After sleeping for so long the thought of stretching my legs sounded wonderful. I pulled out the carton of fries and held it out to Catherine so we could both eat. I stood next to her, leaning against the car, reveling in the cold air blowing against my face.

While we ate, I took in my surroundings. We were in a small parking lot bordered by Wendy’s and a couple other stores. Behind us stretched a wall of pine trees, verdant waves against the gray-blue sky. The forest started out sparse but thickened quickly – it looked like it would be easy to get lost in there. Clouds were beginning to roll across the sky, shielding me from the glare of the sun.

It was a vast difference from earlier, and I had a sudden twinge of unease.

I licked the salt off my fingers and threw the carton away, nowhere near full but unwilling to ask for more. I went to get back into the car, but Rory shook her head.

“We’ll be walking to the nature center,” she said. “To get the whole nature vibe, there are no cars permitted on the premises. Don’t worry, I’ve been here before; I know where to go.”

There were smarter things to do than walk into the forest with a stranger, but I was about to do just that.

***

Reading back over this part… Can you tell I wrote it when I was hungry? 😉 Also, I definitely don’t recommend doing what Emma does in this part. Or any of Unraveled, for that matter; who knows what she’ll do in the future.

How are y’all doing? I hope you had a lovely week, and have a restful, craft-filled weekend! 😀